These psycho-philosophical arguments like the one of John Ellis are what in
evolutionary Psychology is called an explanation based on proximate causes.
Instead, ultimate causes are the physical causes that generate, by natural
selection, a mind with such concepts and such phenomenology that is capable
of such reasoning. I take evolutionary reasoning because evolution is the
only way to link both kinds of philosophical and physical explanations. The
first is more important in practical terms, because our phenomenology
defines what IS real. Period. But only ultimate causes can illuminate and
[Our phenomenology conform a common, communicable reality among us because
it is the product of a common mind, that is a product of a common brain
architecture, that is a result of a common brain development program that
is a result of a common genetic inheritance]
An example of ultimate causes may be the theory of Relativity, statistical
mechanics, the fact that we live in a four dimensional universe and our 4d
life lines go along a maximum gradient of entropy, and the desplacement
along these lines is called time, that is local to each line. Another
ultimate cause is the nature of natural selection, how and why a certain
aggregate of matter can maintain its internal entropy in his path trough a
line of maximum increase of entrophy, and it is by detection computation
and acting to avoid dangers and to capture good things. The good and bad
entropy must come in identifiable bags in an eternal "videogame". This is a
requisite for life. Non avoidable changes of entropy causes mass
[The maximum gradient of entropy is paradoxically at first sight, the most
computable path, that is why life proceed in this direction:
To avoid bad bags, and to capture and make use of these good entrophy bags,
the living beings have to compute. The bad bag of winter, when detected as
cold beyond a threshold of intensity and duration by some plants, trigger a
set of predefined chemical reactions that make leaves to fall in order to
avoid energy waste. This is a computation.
Each bag has a way of dealing with it. Many bags are other living beings
that want to eat you or you want ot eat it. To deal with them you need a
primitive short term notion of time. But gazelles and lions act the same
way everytime. They do not act different based on conscious evaluations of
They may be other human beings and this time you need a more sophisticated
notion of time, because persons act different depending on its memory. The
humans depend on a complex cronological knowledge, some of it is enhanced
and inherited from ancestors. So there is a experiential time and a mytical
time. This is just for our survival as individuals and as a working
society. This memory, as I said before evolved in the first place for
cooperation, to remember cooperators and defectors.
In each point of our lines of life in the 4d space we mentally play with
the past to deal with the unknown future. We may exist in every point
thinking this way.
The line of reasoning can be reversed by the anthropic principle: our
psichology is the causation of the physical universe, because if our
phenomenology does not exist, the universe would´nt exist. There is no way
to give pre-eminence to one or the other line of causation.
2012/7/29 Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>
> On 7/29/2012 2:35 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> On 28.07.2012 23:43 Stephen P. King said the following:
> On 7/28/2012 4:23 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> Now I have found the original paper by McTaggart in Internet:
> Dear Evgenii,
> Never would I cast aspersions upon McTaggart, but what he actually
> proved was not the "unreality of time"; for Reality is what which is
> incontrovertible to all intercommunicating observers. What McTaggart
> proved was the non-existance of an observational stance that might
> allow all moments of time to be apprehended simultaneously. His work
> can be seen as a reiteration of the truth that Einstein was able to
> show us with his General theory of Relativity.
> I do not see how Einstein could describe the transition from being to
> becoming. Einstein's four-dimensional timespace does not have changes. This
> is the reason why Popper has called him once as four-dimensional
> In Einstein's general theory of relativity, one could after all introduce
> the B-series. Yet, the A-series are not there.
> Dear Evgenii,
> Einstein tried very hard to not describe any becoming whatsoever. But
> one recovers the variability of Becoming when one considers such things as
> minisuperspace <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minisuperspace>. Basically
> one considers the possible initial conditions (or metrics) as generating
> different possible universes. But this is problematic itself. The problem
> is that we are confusing the transition from state to state with the
> ordering of an indexing set.
> "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
> ~ Francis Bacon
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